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Custody Issues Are Tough When Divorcing a Narcissist


You will probably experience some unpleasant complications throughout the divorces process If you are divorcing a narcissist.  Nowhere will those difficulties be more trying than when dealing with the issue of child custody. Without question, you will require an experienced and no-nonsense divorce attorney on your side.

What to Expect 

You’re probably already pretty accustomed to the antics of your narcissistic partner. It will be useful to recognize how the behaviors and patterns you’ve been seeing all along can impact the direction of the custody case. Unequivocally, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is an actual medical/mental condition, complete with a pervading sense of haughtiness and the need for ceaseless attention. This, combined with a complete lack of empathy, can be incredibly challenging to deal with.  Your spouse may have additional issues with a sense of superiority over others and a conviction that they are entitled to special treatment. Manipulative and controlling behaviors, including deception, should be expected from narcissists, who will do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. Tactics could include:

  • Lying and exaggerating;
  • Manipulations aimed at your emotional wellbeing;
  • Blaming you or others for problems and presenting themselves as a victim;
  • Making demands that are unreasonable;
  • Using the child to create difficulties with no concern for the impact on the child.

Preparing for Battle 

Your spouse will very likely attempt to twist the legal system to achieve an unfair advantage.  It’ll be up to you to be prepared:

  • Document narcissistic behaviors and the impact on yourself and your child;
  • Pursue professional guidance from someone familiar with narcissism;
  • Have a support network who can build your psychological health;
  • Keep in mind that custody deliberations are based on the best interests of the child. Establishing your commitment to the child is the most important job.

Facts Related to Parenting 

Custody litigation is fact-specific, which means that the relationship of the child with each parent will be evaluated.  What will the record show? Evidence may include:

  • School attendance and performance records;
  • Health—physical, mental, dental– records;
  • Photographs of daily life and special occasions;
  • Cards to and from you;
  • Communications such as texts and emails between the parties;
  • Records of birthday celebrations.

These are the types of documentation that will be difficult to fabricate and that will provide a snapshot of each parent’s commitment to and interactions with the child.

The Trial 

In a trial, both parents will be questioned.  You will have the opportunity to demonstrate what parenting means to you and why custody is important. Your narcissistic spouse may believe themselves to be charming, but may actually come across as what they really are: controlling, self-serving, and demanding. A practiced attorney will push to get your spouse to reveal who they really are.

Advocating for You 

The dedicated Boca Raton divorce attorneys at WiseLieberman will fight to achieve the best possible outcomes for you and your child. To discuss, schedule a confidential consultation in our Boca Raton office today.

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